By now, it should be pretty clear that social media is a great way for brands to connect with past, current and prospective customers in a new refreshing way. With a few different platforms, it’s easier than ever to not only share your brand messaging with the world, but also interact, provide customer service and truly give a “voice” to your company in a truly personal way. But beyond that, social media can also be a great source of valuable information that can help you gain more of an understanding of your customers, your niche and your next steps.
Go In With A Plan
With all the information available to you on your social media channels through observational and collected as well as analytics, it can be overwhelming if you don’t know where to start. It’s important that you have a general idea of the type of information you’re looking for; an observation or assumption you’re looking to prove or disprove. No matter how developed your idea is, your findings will help you solidify the idea down the road and you may even need to refocus as new information becomes available, but it’s imperative that you have a general idea of what you’re looking for before you begin.
Understand The Analytics
This is probably the most important part of using social media for market research. Regardless of what analytics tool you’re using, it’s important that you understand what you’re reading and what you’re looking for when reading through them in order to know where your successes and opportunities are. Each platform is different, but getting familiar with the breakdown of information will be vital to reaching conclusions and taking any next steps.
Make Use Of The Search Function
Many brands miss out on valuable dialogue about their brand and industry by only following what’s on their own newsfeed or posts where they are directly mentioned or tagged. There are millions of other users and side conversations that you will likely never see by only checking these spots. It’s important to use the search functions of any platform you use to check for mentions of your brand name where the user didn’t tag you in it, not only as a chance to engage the user in what could have been a missed opportunity but to see what other conversations you’ve been missing. You can do the same with words, hashtags and entire phrases related to your market or niche to observe larger conversations about the industry you’re apart of. This is a great (and free) way to see a broader scope of what’s going on in these digital spaces.
Check Out The Competition
Keeping an eye on what your competition is doing, is now easier than ever with social media. Don’t be afraid to do a bit of peeking to stay current. Find a few similar brands within your niche and pay attention to their posts, how they engage with their audience, their offers and more. A great example of this is Roc Media which shares a name with some other marketing agencies in Canada. This will help you learn different methods for communication on your own social media channels.
Speak Like Your Audience
By getting an idea of the conversations that are going on around and about your brand or market, it will be easier to zero in on the ways they talk about your brand. This will make it easier to create advertising campaigns, copy and other messaging since you have an understanding of the wording that will make the most impact. Using the same terminology and language as your followers and fans is a great way to connect, but make sure it’s still true to your brand voice before diving head first into it.